World Children's Day 2021

A closer look at ILO Turkey’s work to prevent children from work in seasonal agriculture

News | 20 November 2021
Today is World Children’s Day and the day offers a great opportunity to take stock of our efforts this year to eliminate child labour in seasonal agriculture. The projects under the framework of ILO’s Program on the Elimination of Child Labour in Turkey, aimed at preventing children of seasonal agriculture workers from child labour in 21 provinces of Turkey.

The interventions of the two projects involving hazelnut harvest were carried out by supporting children with formal education courses and offering them social and cultural activities that contribute to their physical, social and emotional wellbeing. Families who have been involved in seasonal agriculture were informed in counseling sessions about the risks of the work performed by children in dangerous and unhealthy conditions. Orchard owners joined sensitization sessions to be informed about legal frameworks set for elimination of child labour. To achieve better enrolment of children and families to the projects, families were provided support kits while the children were benefited from transportation service, nutrition support and, hygiene and stationary kits.

ILO, in close collaboration with the central and local units of the General Directorate of Labour of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, worked with a broad range of local authorities including provincial directorates of Turkish Employment Agency, Ministry of Education, municipalities, governorates and district governorates along with its local implementation partner Pikolo Association.

Here are some key outcomes from this year’s hazelnut harvest season which started with the settlement of the seasonal agricultural workers in designated METIP areas in project provinces in late July and continued with the hazelnut harvesting till mid-September.

In the project “An Integrated Model for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Seasonal Agriculture in Hazelnut Harvesting in Turkey” supported by CAOBISCO, 1456 children were prevented from work in seasonal agriculture and provided education services which were conducted by 110 teachers in five project provinces (Ordu, Samsun, Giresun, Duzce, Sakarya) in Black Sea region of Turkey. The field staff, including teachers and Pikolo Association, reached out to 648 families and 22 agriculture intermediaries to provide information about the project. 173 orchard owners benefited from sensitization sessions on child labour. ILO’s SCREAM program (Supporting Children Through Education & Art and Media) reached out to 93 children in project provinces.

In the project “Elimination of Worst Forms of Child Labour in Seasonal Agriculture in Hazelnut Harvesting in Turkey” supported by Ferrero, 455 children were prevented from work in seasonal agriculture and provided education services which were conducted by 24 teachers in two project provinces (Trabzon and Zonguldak) in Black Sea region. The field staff reached out to 210 families to provide information about the project.

The third project under the program “Elimination of Child Labour in Seasonal Agriculture” funded by the European Union covers the provinces of Şanlıurfa, Mardin, Adıyaman, Diyarbakır, Adana, Mersin, Hatay, Izmir, Manisa, Ankara, Eskişehir, Konya, Malatya, Ordu, Bursa and Düzce.

As we commemorate today and the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour throughout this year, the results achieved in this year’s harvest season to prevent children from work brings us one step closer to our goal of ending child labour in all its forms.

© ILO / A girl with her classmates attending art classes offered by the project in Akcakoca, Duzce

© ILO / Children had the opportunity to catch up with what they have missed when they were away from their hometowns. The photo captures a math class in Arsin, Trabzon